Still, there’s plenty that I just don’t get.
Like, what the heck is a hashtag, and what’s its purpose?
And why do people tweet? It only seems to get them in trouble. Besides, who has the time?
A comedian once said he didn’t have time for Facebook or Twitter, so he bought a megaphone to announce every move he made. I found this hilarious since I’ve never understood why anyone would take the time to post that they are getting up to get a snack — and who cares?
Then there’s keeping all the terminology straight. I asked my son if he “Instagrammed” someone, and he burst out laughing. Apparently you don’t “Instagram” someone, you “post on Instagram.” Whatever.
I think the hardest thing for me to grasp, though, is the dwindling human interaction. It’s as if actually talking with someone has been outlawed. I’ll ask my daughter if she’s heard from a friend and she’ll say they never texted back. Well, here’s an idea — call them! There’s this crazy thing called a phone with which you can talk to a person.
I know I’m showing my age. I imagine when the phone first came out parents probably said, “Why call them when you can just walk over there? It’s only a mile, for Pete’s sake.”
But, let’s face it, a phone today is used for much more than calling someone. For the longest time I had a flip-up, pay-as-you-go phone, which was really all I needed to stay in contact with my family — until my daughter started texting me and I had to text back by hitting the same key four times to get the letter I wanted. She could text me three times in the amount of time it took me to form a single word! She learned to be patient for my reply, but it really was annoying.
So, I recently joined the rest of the world and got a smartphone. The thing is incredible! I can text, take a picture, e-mail, use the GPS, check the weather, listen to music and do that cool swiping motion with my fingers. Oh, and also I can call people.
I do really love it, and I can see why people get carried away, but I’ll never be one of those people who have it on their laps or right in front of them at all times. You know, the ones who are incapable of having a conversation without looking at their phone a dozen times. If they laugh, you’re not sure if it’s at something you said or something on YouTube.
Again, I don’t get it. Families sitting at restaurants each staring at their phones and not paying any attention to each other. Little kids sitting side by side, but only interacting with their iPads. It’s everywhere you look, and everywhere you go.
And, to me, it’s kind of scary.
I picture my kids in college making one error in judgment and it’s all over the Internet! Google Earth is super cool, but does it creep anyone else out that there are pictures being taken of us in our backyards from somewhere above?
Ever click on a beach cam? You think you’re alone, strolling down a secluded beach, when actually who knows how many people are watching you adjust your bathing suit! Not only is there no interaction, there’s no privacy.
Which brings me to Facebook. I really dragged my feet on that one. I didn’t like the idea nor see the point of putting myself out there like that.
I finally gave in after realizing that I was missing out on a lot of communication. For instance, last year I was constantly trying to track down where and when my daughter’s cross-country meets were. This year, I joined their Facebook page, and voila! — I knew exactly what was going on.
And, I’ll admit, it is nice to connect with old friends. But again, I will never be that person with 4,926 friends and 50 posts a day. I don’t get how they get anything else done!
To me, there is just more to life than all that.
I enjoy technology, but I’m not consumed by it, and I’d like to keep it that way. I don’t care that I don’t understand it all, or know what all the terms mean. I don’t mind that my kids laughed at me when I finally realized what an app was; or that LOL stood for “Laugh Out Loud,” not “Lots of Love.”
And my husband can go right ahead and try to explain streaming and Skyping and Skyclouds, oh my! Because, hey, if I don’t get it, I can always just Google it! LOL!
— By Kelly Kalis, Tribune community columnist